(Photo by Juan Salas/Icon Sportswire)
I didn’t think I’d have another Trevor Richards focus this year but it’s going to be a quick one after going 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks against the Reds. He absolutely dominated in this one, boasting 37/95 CSW and 19 whiffs as his changeup was stupid good – 15/39 whiffs! – and getting strikes often with heat and sliders. It’s a bit of a Cherry Bomb style of upside, where if he is feeling his changeup on a given day (and throwing it around 40% of the time!) he can simply dominate as the pitch makes batters look stupid. He lost the feel for a few weeks, has it back now, and suddenly he’s a solid option against the Mets over the weekend. He’ll most likely be the streaming choice from me on that day as I’m willing to buy into him keeping that feel for one more game after this overwhelming destruction.
Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:
Kyle Freeland – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. And the man keeps elevating a career season. 16/94 whiffs here as his slider/cutter thing did great work, while his four-seamer also did damage up in the zone. It’s now a 2.84 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and seven of his nine games with at least six strikeouts. It makes me wonder if we should completely write off this season (4.34 SIERA, 8.5% walk rate) or if he’s making a positive change that can stick for a solid 3.40 ERA year in 2019. I’m not counting it out.
Hyun-Jin Ryu – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Ryu cruised against a weak offense (Padres) and gets another one next time out too (San Fran). He’s living like a Giant.
Blake Snell – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yeah, I think he’s done enough to pull from Sale’s low inning count at this point. It’s a 1.90 ERA y’all. And enjoy the Gallows Pole at a ridiculous 24 whiffs.
Kyle Gibson – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Gibson has been a bit all over the place lately with a 5 ER game just last time out, though it’s nice to see him earn 7+ frames against the A’s. He gets the ChiSox to cap off his season and that’s an easy start from me, even with his 4 ER clunker last time he faced them.
J. A. Happ – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Happ got the Orioles and did exactly what we thought he would do against the Orioles. Exactly what any decent starter should do against the Orioles.
Kyle Hendricks – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I wouldn’t be shocked if I have Hendricks a little higher than most next season as he’s looked like his stellar self for a good three months. It’s a 2.68 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 23% K rate, 3% Walk rate, and 3.42 SIERA over his last 15 games as he figured out the command of his fastball. I’d love to have him as my #4/5 next year.
Brad Keller – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Bleeeegh. It’s just so boring and not sustainable in my eye. At least we can all agree he shouldn’t be started against the Indians to end the Kansas City season.
Miles Mikolas – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. I’ve been talking with Sporer about the recent early mock drafts lately and 8Miles is looking like the guy to target just past the 100th overall pick to act as your discounted third starter for 2019. I’m so on board for that. He’s turning into 2015 Keuchel and that’s a fantastic thing, especially when he’s pumping 95mph on top of it.
Charlie Morton – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Morton was removed as a precaution with shoulder discomfort. He’ll get another tune-up on Friday, most likely with Framber Valdez taking over after a few innings. I wouldn’t roll with Morton anymore.
Daniel Norris – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. The ERA is nice, the three Ks and 1.60 WHIP are not. Still low velocity, still not enough for me to get on board.
Martin Perez – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Sure, whatever Perez.
Anibal Sanchez – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. This helps but as you close your relevant season (I’m not dipping again in 2019) can you go out with more pizzaz than just one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?!
Ryan Borucki – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Whoa, that’s the second straight game of 7 Ks from Borucki and your eyebrow is raised. He gets to go at it again versus the Rays later this week and I wouldn’t take the gamble. Sorry, I don’t buy it.
Zack Godley – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Those walks are heartbreakers and the overall inconsistency of his mechanics are ultimately his downfall. It’s sad, really. Maybe not a terrible post-hype guy next year, but I’m not spending a Top 15 round pick on him.
Aaron Nola – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Not the overwhelming Nola Day we’ve come to love, but super solid and that’s cool.
Andrew Suarez – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhhhh, fine. He’s at best a Toby and I feel like I’m even stretching to give him that. These aren’t positive things.
Hector Velazquez – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Velazquez had been the answer for the Sawx without a proper fifth starter for a while, though I’m a little surprised to see him still at it with a full squad now. Probably injury management + gearing up for playoffs n all. I highly doubt he’ll ever have proper fantasy relevance.
Trevor Cahill – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. A meh return from his DL stint here, and I think I’m going to pass for his final outing against the Angels on Saturday.
Erick Fedde – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. I didn’t like the streaming slate yesterday, so I went with the guy that had at least tallied 22 Ks in his last three starts and faced the Mets. Womp womp. Streaming Record: 99-50. I really should listen to my own advice: Don’t trust the Feddes.
Wade LeBlanc – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s super blegh and you’re wondering if the five Ks were worth it. Probably not.
Steven Matz – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Very disappointing from Matz who had been solid in the second half up to last week. I think I’m still cool letting him fly against the Marlins next time out, though.
Wade Miley – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Miley just couldn’t hold on for two more starts. Just two more magical games to put the seal on a ridiculous season. Yeah, it’s still a 2.32 ERA, but this could have been even better. He gets the Tigers next and I’m pretty meh about it, but sure, why not. He’s more like a Toby on the blegh side than waiver wire fodder.
Adam Plutko – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. A PQS with Plutko is kinda what you hope for. I mean, you’re clearly not hoping for more in the K department.
Mike Wright – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s the wrong Wright? Wait, is there a right Wright anymore?
Michael Lorenzen – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Lorenzen has been far off our fantasy radar for a while and this is a transparent display of his absence. Not even a single strikeout despite 11 baserunners and 12 outs. HAISTFMFWT?!
Tyler Skaggs – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Skaggs had his second game back from the DL stint – the first being a clean 3 inning day at the office – and it’s what we expected the first time. I’m super curious where he lands next year, it might be at a solid discount that makes it worthwhile to chase.
Nick Kingham – 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Ugggggh. I wonder if there was a moment we can trace where Kingham really lost it. The command of his fastball and slider yesterday are nothing like what seduced me back in the spring and while I’ll still endorse him as a late round “why not?” pick, it’s harder and harder to see him as a man ready to take a leap with a rotation spot next season.
Carlos Rodon – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Rodon got the Cubs and was smacked around a good amount. It hasn’t gone well recently, but there may still be some value to be had facing the Twins next.
Joey Lucchesi – 3.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Noooooooo. I think Lucchesi was getting overlooked a bit this year, but right when his value peaked, he’s sputtered for two straight starts. Fine, this was the Dodgers, he still had 6 Ks and the struggling Diamondbacks are ahead. I wouldn’t count it out.
Framber Valdez vs. Toronto Blue Jays – He has it in him to succeed in Toronto. Felix Pena vs. Texas Rangers – He gets the call with the Astros retooling their rotation for the week. Sandy Alcantara against the Nationals isn’t a bad call either, despite showing us his low floor last time.
Touki Toussaint vs. New York Mets – I love this. You should too. I also love Josh James against the Blue Jays if he gets that start. If you have some brass, maybe consider Chris Stratton getting a second shot against the Padres, Edwin Jackson against the enigmatic Mariners, or Matt Harvey against the Royals.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Eric Lauer vs. San Francisco Giants – The Giants are terrible, and Lauer could make this work. Possibly.
Game of the Day
Clayton Kershaw vs. Robbie Ray – This could be a fun game of dueling lefties.
Somehow I made it to the finals despite my indecisiveness. Now I need to pick 5 pitchers to trust this final week. Which 5 would you start in a weekly lineup? (W, L, BB, K , ERA, WHIP):
Severino @TB, @Bos
^ R Hill @SF
^ H-J Ryu @SF
C Hamels v PIT, v STL
* T Bauer @CWS, @KC
M Mikolas @CHC
* G Marquez v PHI
* C Morton @ BAL
* I’m hesitant to start Morton or Bauer given one is returning and possibly limited and the other is having shoulder concerns. I’m also hesitant to start Marquez because he’s in Coors, but he’s been awesome too.
^ SF has the second worst wOBA against lefties at home in the second half. So I feel like Hill and Ryu are safe starts.
My opponent also only has 5 starts so having better stats might be better than simply getting starts.
I have a hard time not being concerned about shoulder discomfort. That sounds bad!